Professor Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). She was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019. Sharon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.
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A new report released by the Commission for the Human Future (CHF), is calling all nations to prioritize a plan to resolve 10 potentially catastrophic global risks that threaten the existence of humankind.
According to the report titled Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century, these threats which include pandemics of new and untreatable diseases, decline of natural resources, rising food insecurity, nuclear weapons, and a changing climate, are all interconnected.
For that reason, it is imperative that they be resolved as a system not one at a time and that action needs to be taken immediately.
“The corona virus pandemic appeared suddenly, without warning and took the whole world by surprise.
“This shows how swiftly a catastrophic risk can appear and affect everyone, how short-term and blinkered are our horizons, how vulnerable and unprepared we are for threats that can shake or collapse our civilization, even extinguish us as a species.
“This lack of preparedness means humanity will continue to be ambushed by unforeseen crises’ the CHF report states.
The report however offered a message of hope outlining indispensable measures and reforms in order to make solutions to the threats possible, including: the adoption of a minimum 50% CO2 reduction target by 2030 and an all-hazard risk assessment approach by all countries, developing a Renewable Global Food system, cleaning up the Earth, and banning nuclear weapons.
Member of the Board and Co-vice chair of the Commission for the Human Future, RegNet’s Professor Sharon Friel commented:
“There is no one policy or regulatory model that will improve complex societal problems such as these, rather we must use a plurality of approaches. In a hyper-connected world there are many partners to help create systems of hope.”
Above all else, the CHF report stated, “it is essential that all human belief systems, political, religious, monetary and in terms of the narratives we tell ourselves, commit to a shared goal of surviving and thriving.”
Download the full report here.